Axios Pro Exclusive Content

Bankruptcy judge clears Voyager deals despite SEC objections

Illustration of a crypto coin with crossed gavels on it.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

A U.S. bankruptcy court judge dismissed the SEC's objections to Binance.US' takeover of customer accounts from bankrupt crypto firm Voyager Digital, ruling the deal could move forward, Ryan writes.

Why it matters: The court's decision could clear the way for other bankruptcy deals to be completed, even with the threat of potential enforcement action from government regulators.

Driving the news: Judge Michael Wiles of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York ruled Binance.US's planned purchase of Voyager's assets could move forward.

Flashback: Last month the SEC filed a motion objecting to the agreement, with the agency saying it was investigating whether the deal violated laws on the offering of unregistered securities.

  • "Regulatory actions, whether involving Voyager, Binance.US or both, could render the transactions in the Plan impossible to consummate, thus making the Plan unfeasible," it said in the filing.

Yes, but: Wiles said he wouldn't delay the deal simply because the SEC had warned of potential future enforcement.

  • “The SEC didn’t say why they say Binance.US is operating as a securities broker. If we were to try to address the issue we’d have to guess,” Wiles said in his ruling.

Details: Under the proposed deal agreed to in December, Binance.US will pay Voyager $20 million in cash and take over crypto assets deposited by Voyager customers.

  • Those assets were valued at approximately $1.3 billion last month, accounting for most of the deal’s valuation.
  • Creditors overwhelmingly voted in favor of the deal, with 97% agreeing to an outcome that lawyers say could result in a 73% recovery of their assets.
Go deeper